Trinity Alps

9:21 p.m. on March 1, 2011 (EST)
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I'm interested in taking a backpacking trip this summer in the Trinity Alps wilderness and need some advice. What permits do I need to get in order to camp outside campsites? How will the weather be? Any trail head recommendations? I need some general advice on how to have a successful trip. Thanks for the help everyone!

9:28 p.m. on March 1, 2011 (EST)
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The two permits you need for the Trinity Alps are your fire permit and, if you go into the Wilderness Area, your Wilderness Permit. You can get both at the ranger station (USFS).

The summer weather there will be HOT HOT! The evenings will be cool, but it can get very hot during the day. Be sure to drink lots of water (and other fluids) to stay well-hydrated.

The Trinity Alps are gorgeous, and I am sure you will enjoy them, no matter what trailhead you choose. Stick to the trails, though. There are still a number of "agricultural activity centers" in the Trinities (and elsewhere in northern California,  well, all forest areas in the State, for the Golden State's biggest cash crop). You can get advice on this in person at the ranger stations.

10:07 p.m. on March 1, 2011 (EST)
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These folks will be able to provide the permit information you seek.  If your trip is to an area outside park boundaries they should be able to steer you to the appropriate state park authorities.  This site is good for researching seasonal weather trends. 

For what is it worth, I have visited the area a half dozen times, five of which were in the summer.  Rain should be assumed, and high winds are a regular occurrence.  While it can be hot as blazes, the upper elevations can get pretty chilly at night.

BTW: Bill's advisory about avoiding clandestine pot gardens is underscored by the park sevice's own warnings on their web page.

Ed

12:00 a.m. on March 7, 2011 (EST)
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I've been to the Trinities a few times, and backpacked a couple times.  The eastern side (e.g. the high peaks area, etc) is pretty heavily traveled, while the western side is far less so.

There's a ranger station in Weaverville where you can get your wilderness permit.  They have a kiosk outside where you can get the permit even after hours.

One thing I've noticed is that many of the trailheads require long-ish drives in on unpaved roads, some of which have signs warning against low-clearance vehicles.  Just something to keep in mind depending on the type of vehicle you drive...

Writer John Soares is (I'd say) an expert on that area, and posts lots of interesting info in his blog, Northern California Hiking Trails.

September 1, 2014
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